How to control water usage if it included in rent?

Discussion in 'Property Management' started by melbourne171, 7th Dec, 2016.

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  1. melbourne171

    melbourne171 Well-Known Member

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    I have an IP in Brisbane. The water usage is included in rent. I asked agent to put a clause "owner pays for reasonable water usage. However, if water usage exceeds $xxx per quarter, tenant is liable for the exceeding amount". However, agent says this clause breaches the law and not puts this clause in the contract. I ask him how to control water usage but he seems not able to answer my question?

    How will you control water usage in this case?
     
  2. Propertunity

    Propertunity Exclusive Real Estate Buyers Agent Business Member

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    You can't :(

    Is there any reason you can't make the property water efficient and pass on water bills to the tenant like other LL's?
     
  3. EN710

    EN710 Well-Known Member

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    Is it a unit or house?
    House - spend the money and make it water efficient. Otherwise you can only charge after it pass certain amount (in water consumption not $).
    Unit... not sure...
     
  4. JacM

    JacM VIC Buyer's Agent - Melbourne, Geelong, Ballarat Business Member

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    Here is what the relevant section of the Property Occupations form will look like re water usage

    snippet.JPG

    So the questions are...

    • Does your property have its own water meter? If not, you're paying the water usage and it would therefore be a good idea to make the property water efficient to minimise consumption (property manager can send plumber to get this done).
    • If it has its own meter, is it already water efficient? If so, why are you offering to pay tenant water usage. If not, get it water efficient and let the tenant pay for their water usage. The process that is used in QLD to retrieve water consumption funds from the tenant is a bit painful and thus best avoided by having your own meter and being water efficient.
     
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  5. D.T.

    D.T. Specialist Property Manager Business Member

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    This was written about in my water paying tip. Tenancy Tip Thursday - Who pays water?

    Essentially for QLD if you property has its own meter and has an efficiency cert, you can pass the whole usage bill onto the tenant.
     
  6. melbourne171

    melbourne171 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks all.

    Property does not have separate water meter. Therefore, agent told me to pay water usage.
     
  7. Angel

    Angel Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Tell your agent to get with the times. There are some managers in my area who simply charge the water to the tenant. Then IF the tenant questions it, the manager and tenant can negotiate some arrangement as per the note at the end of clause 17:6 in the QLD RTA lease.
     
  8. melbourne171

    melbourne171 Well-Known Member

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    Hi Angle
    We have just signed a contract. I want to put the water usage clause in the contract but agent says it cannot be put in the contact.
     
  9. MTR

    MTR Material Girl Premium Member

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    how much money are we talking?
     
    Last edited: 8th Dec, 2016
  10. Angel

    Angel Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    If you have already signed the contract, it would be too late to change it unless the other person agrees.

    Which contract? Do you mean the agreement to use this particular manager, or the lease with the tenant? Have a read for yourself of the leases. I use the RTA, I haven't read an REIQ lease for a while.
     
  11. Angel

    Angel Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    It would mean several hundred dollars each year if this PM makes his landlord pay all water fees. If the tenant is under no requirement pay for their consumption or to conserve water, there are those who will use all they can.

    There are also perfectly reasonable tenants who expect to pay for their own personal expenses.
     
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  12. EN710

    EN710 Well-Known Member

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    I used to rent units - one of the apartment back then has a very tiny shower nozzle it's a bit sad - looking back, it might be the way they limit water usage :rolleyes:
     
  13. wylie

    wylie Moderator Staff Member

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    Unless each unit or townhouse has its own meter the water usage is simply spread between all of them, in my understanding anyway.

    I know our son looked at the cost of installing separate meters into the block he owns in, and the cost was too high and wasn't worth doing. If water costs become too high, I guess he will rethink that.

    I also know a family member who has moved from their townhouse and has been trying to sell it for nearly twelve months. It is empty, but their last water bill was $400. There are no separate meters so they pay their share of the total, and that means everyone can use as much water as they like because they know the ones who are more careful will be paying for the overuse of everyone else.
     
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  14. dabbler

    dabbler Well-Known Member

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    You can't. Apart from tell them to go easy on the water, but they do not need too if included.
     
  15. EconomicAcrobat

    EconomicAcrobat Member

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    This is the issue!

    It's completely inconsequential worrying about what YOUR tenant is using when YOU are paying the average water usage from ALL units.

    Think of it as a good but expensive lesson: don't buy a unit with a shared meter unless you have factored water usage costs as part of the investment.
     
  16. dabbler

    dabbler Well-Known Member

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    I walked away from many places like this that also had community hot water....geez, bad enough what people do with cold water.

    I know someone who is literally in the shower for an hour, what the hell for, not sure, but the family is not rushed with the bathroom. Learn from the parents.

    I also know others who when just running the water, they say, don't worry about it, they also hose everything down for hours each day (they have a large courtyard and gardens, she will be right, the neighbors all share the costs.

    Also one place I know of , they would have 20-30 friends/family/whatever over to shower etc & to wash cars, because they knew water was included, makes you wonder if they thought of fuel costs to get there.
     
  17. Ed Barton

    Ed Barton Well-Known Member

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    Reminds me of my dad who'll drive 10ks out of his way to save a couple of cents on fuel.

    The first car they bought new had one of those new fancy rear window demisters. Dad never used it as he didn't want to wear it out. First time mum used it it didn't work and the car was out of warranty.

    Never used AC in the car because of the increased cost. I'm not sure how he thinks the climate control keeps the temperature at the desired setting without AC in their latest car, but I'm not telling him.
     
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